‘They wished I was dead’: Illustrator who was slammed for his cartoon of Serena Williams reveals he feared for his life during the backlash

‘They wished I was dead’: Illustrator who was slammed for his cartoon of Serena Williams reveals he feared for his life during the backlash, by Lauren Ferri.

The Australian cartoonist who was on the receiving end of worldwide condemnation for his racist depiction of tennis star Serena Williams said he received death threats after the drawing was published.

Cartoonist Mark Knight was called a ‘white supremacist’ and ‘c**ksucker of the day’ after his cartoon featuring Serena Williams at the US Open was published in the Herald Sun newspaper in September.

Knight defended himself by saying he simply made the drawing after he witnessed ‘the world’s greatest tennis player spit the dummy’.

The artist initially thought the mess would blow over, but for weeks both he and his family were brutally terrorised. …

‘They wished I was dead, there were threats, aggressive horrible stuff against the kids, like ‘We hope someone gets you, gets your family’. I was a ‘racist a**hole’. I work in the media, I know what to expect, but my family doesn’t and it hit them really hard.’

The abuse was so bad, Knight had to organise for security guards to stand around his property for a week.

‘It was as if the poison had come down the driveway, inside our front door and into our house, and one of the things I’ve always prided myself on is leaving work to one side to live a normal family life,’ Knight said.